3.13.18 Your morning briefing

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The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

Crypto mining as payment
App stores are often riddled with cryptocurrency mining programs disguised as other software, draining resources and battery of anyone who downloads them. But there's one mining app that Apple seems okay with, Ars Technica reports.

Calendar 2 allowed consumers to opt in to mining the Monero currency, and in exchange the Mac app would enable premium features that it typically locks behind a paywall.

Though Apple did not explicitly state that the Calendar 2 app was legit, the company had not removed the app within 24 hours of being notified of it. Later, the app's developer removed the mining function due to its using more computer resources than intended.

Ripple effect
As more blockchain investment drifts away from the technology's cryptocurrency roots, Ripple wants to bring some of the attention back to its own XRP currency.

Ripple is eyeing investments in companies that would find new uses for XRP, TechCrunch reports. One example is Omni, a startup that offers storage and rental services; Ripple and two of its execs led a $25 million investment in Omni in January, the article notes.

Transit fare-well
Transit systems are often seen as testbeds for payments innovation, but — much like taxis — they can be one-upped by ride-sharing apps, which typically render the payment invisible to the rider.

This is what's happening in Arlington, Texas, The Verge reports. The city is replacing its public bus service with the Via ridesharing app, which will charge riders a $3 per trip or $10 for a weekly pass.

Those rates come in exchange for subsidies from the city, which is replacing a charter bus service it has used for four years, the article states.

Amazon gives Alexa new skills
Years after the shopping-focused Fire Phone failed to attract an audience, Amazon has found another way into the mobile phone market: By enabling phone calls on Alexa-equipped tablets, Fortune reports.

The feature doesn't give Fire tablets the full range of shopping features the phone had — Amazon's smartphone showcased a technology called Firefly that could identify nearby objects and media to order them on Amazon.com — but it does blur the line and further lock Amazon customers into its ecosystem.

From the Web
Data breach victims can sue Yahoo in the United States: judge
Reuters | Mon Mar 12, 2018 - Yahoo has been ordered by a federal judge to face much of a lawsuit in the United States claiming that the personal information of all 3 billion users was compromised in a series of data breaches.

Grab forms venture with Japan's Credit Saison for lending services
Reuters | Mon Mar 12, 2018 - Southeast Asia’s Grab has formed a venture with Japanese credit card company Credit Saison Co Ltd to provide loans and lending services in the region, marking the ride-hailing firm’s biggest expansion into financial services. It will be part of newly launched Grab Financial, which offers services ranging from payments to rewards and loyalty services, the firms said in a statement on Tuesday.

BioCatch closes $30M round for its ‘behavioral biometrics’ tech for banks and other transaction businesses
TechCrunch | Mon Mar 12, 2018 - BioCatch, the U.S./Israeli startup that has developed “behavioral biometric authentication and threat detection” tech to enable banks and other high-transaction companies to stop online fraud before it happens, has closed $30 million in growth funding.

More from PaymentsSource
Amex invests in detecting digitally savvy fake merchants
To detect and combat transaction laundering — the practice of hiding illegal activity behind a business that appears legitimate — American Express' investment group took a minority equity stake in EverCompliant.

What risks do gun shops bring to banks and payment processors?
Banks and payment companies have long been wary of the political and reputational risks of supporting gun sellers. But gun sellers know their customers better than most other merchant categories.

As the demographics of fast food shift, so does the technology
Quick service restaurant and other small business owners are warming up to new technology, giving Verifone and Paysafe a chance to sell their collaborative payment products.

To sell payment services in rural India, MoneyOnMobile borrows a U.S. model
In India, tens of millions of merchants still operate largely in cash with a mostly unbanked rural population. Technology could solve their problems, but the bigger differentiator may be in how payment services are sold.

CFPB should make sure payday rule reboot meets consumer needs
As it gives its small-dollar lending regulation another look, the agency must consider borrowers who have no other credit options.

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